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Iowans Weave Peace and Justice in a War-Torn World

Iowans Weave Peace and Justice in a War-Torn World

Published: January 10, 2011
Eloise Cranke and Chet Guinn stand by the rededicated Peace Garden in Nollen Pla

Eloise Cranke and Chet Guinn stand by the rededicated Peace Garden in Nollen Plaza in Des Moines. Eloise is a former AFSC regional director who works with the Methodist Federation for Social Action. Chet Guinn is a retired Methodist pastor who has led efforts to revitalize the Peace Garden.

Photo: AFSC / Jon Krieg

"We raised our prayers, and strengthen our resolve to end war in Iraq and Afghanistan, prevent war against Iran, and insist that War is not the answer.”

This December 28, 2010 ecumenical service was one of a series organized over the last several years by the D.M. Area Ecumenical Committee for Peace and many churches and groups in Central Iowa.  It has been a time to lament the terrible losses of war, pray for peace, and re-commit ourselves to the cause of peace-making in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, and worldwide.

(View Rodger Routh's video of the service on YouTube)

We pray for peace on the occasion of the “Feast of the Holy Innocents,” which has its roots in the Christmas story recounted in the Book of Matthew, 2:16-18:  “When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the male  children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time he had learned from the wise men.  Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:  ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.’”

The service emphasized deeply that all children need peace.  The purposes of the service are to remember the slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem, ask for God’s mercy upon innocent victims everywhere, call upon God’s great might to frustrate the designs of evil, and pray for the coming of justice, love and peace on earth.

We will pray to strengthen our resolve to act against war.

This year's service included a theme of "weaving," were people in the congregation were actually knitting or crocheting during the service.

It was organized by Des Moines Area Ecumenical Committee for Peace, with many co-sponsors.

For more information contact:

Chet Guinn, 515 282-8054,

Eloise Cranke, 515 262-5974,